Fabricio Andrade: If John Lineker’s Not Ready, I’ll Fight Anyone For ONE Bantamweight World Title
While Fabricio Andrade is still disappointed that he doesn’t have the ONE Bantamweight World Title belt around his waist, his determination to earn it has never been more intense.
On October 21, “Wonder Boy” faced John Lineker in the main event of ONE on Prime Video 3. And while his fellow Brazilian had been forced to vacate the belt after missing weight, Andrade was desperate to be crowned king.
After more than two rounds of exciting action, the 25-year-old rising star appeared moments away from a third-round stoppage victory.
But after connecting with a powerful knee to the body, he landed an accidental illegal low blow on Lineker, who could not recover.
Looking back at that moment and the resulting no contest, Andrade said:
“It was very frustrating because I had been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. I was prepared, and I already saw myself as a champion. I trained a lot, worked a lot, and sacrificed a lot to get in my best shape.
“I made weight, I did everything right, I was winning the fight, almost knocking him out, and the fight ended like that. From a near knockout to a no contest, it was very frustrating. I was very sad with the result of the fight.”
Lineker can never be written off due to his incredible power, but he was wearing plenty of damage in that third frame, while “Wonder Boy” was only looking stronger.
With that in mind, Andrade thinks his rival was relieved to find an escape route before he got finished in the fight.
“In the third round, I felt like I was going to knock him out. He was very injured, he could no longer see with one eye and was very tired. The power of his blows was no longer the same. I also saw the desperation in his corner, so I knew he wouldn’t make it past that round.
“When I landed the knee on him, I thought, ‘Now, it’s over.’ But it turned out that I got carried away and ended up landing a [low blow], which turned out to be his salvation.
“He wasn’t going back to the fight. If he came back, he would’ve been knocked out. He took the easy way out because he knew the fight was lost.”
Fabricio Andrade Has No Doubt He Is ONE’s Top Bantamweight
Despite his frustration, Fabricio Andrade’s mindset has changed from rueing his missed opportunity to asserting his position as the promotion’s top bantamweight mixed martial artist.
He would still welcome another showdown with John Lineker, but with the divisional belt sitting vacant, he would also be happy to face any top contender to secure what he feels is rightfully his.
“Wonder Boy” said:
“ONE is interested in doing a rematch. I’m also very interested. I would like to face him again. But he came out of the fight very hurt. I don’t believe he wants the rematch, but if he wants to, I don’t know how long he’ll need to recover and do this fight again.
“I made it very clear that I want to get back to fighting soon. If he’s prepared, it can be against him. If he’s not prepared, I want another opponent to fight for the belt. I want to take my belt.”
His record doesn’t show a win and he isn’t holding the strap, but “Wonder Boy” thinks his position as the ONE Bantamweight World Champion is clear after his performance against Lineker.
Now sitting at #1 in the updated division rankings, Andrade is ready to eliminate any doubts about his status – though he already sees himself as the man to beat.
“I know I’m the best guy in the division right now. For me, Lineker was the most feared guy at ONE because of his knockout power and his history. I always wanted to fight him because I wanted to prove I was better than him. I knew I was better than him, and I went out there and proved it.
“Now, I’m the best bantamweight in ONE, so having the belt would be very important to me. I already gave up my vacation to be able to go back to the gym and continue training. Now, I’ll wait to find out who will be my opponent for the belt.”